36 Days of Life: Know Your Plaintiffs, Conestoga Woods
The Obama Administration and their allies would like you to believe that the current fight is not over religious liberty but their definition of women’s health, which includes abortion. They try to tell you it is a “ban” – as if a private business refusing to pay for abortifacients means a person can’t privately pay for it.
Really at issue is whether the mandate unconstitutionally violates the religious beliefs of business owners and other groups. The court challenges stem from a Department of Health and Human Services rule written in connection with the 2010 health care law. The rule requires that employers provide contraceptive coverage to workers without their having to pay deductibles, co-pays, or other cost-sharing.
At least 84 cases have been filed by people, businesses or groups who say that the requirement violates their religious beliefs, according to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represents some of the plaintiffs. Many are for-profit businesses owned by people who say their religious doctrines forbid them from supporting the use of birth control. Some companies such as Hobby Lobby, which has more than 13,000 full-time workers, oppose only certain types of birth control. The store’s owners do not want to cover emergency contraceptives and two types of intrauterine devices that can possibly cause abortions.
Fifty-nine percent of likely voters strongly oppose the administration’s requirement for employers to cover contraception, according to a recent poll commissioned by Family Research Council and Alliance Defending Freedom, the group representing Conestoga’s lawsuit against the mandate (they are also representing Dr. James Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, Alliance Defending Freedom and Family Research Council). Those most likely to oppose the mandate were Evangelicals, Catholics, parents of children under 18 and those who are married. Thirty-five percent of respondents said they support it.
As the case goes forward we will continue to profile the very real companies affected by the Obama Administration’s fealty to abortion. Today we will look at one of the plaintiffs soon to be before the Supreme Court, Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp.
Conestoga is based in the eastern district of Pennsylvania and was founded in 1964, in the garage of the Hahn family. The company has grown into an industry leader in manufacturing the highest quality doors and doors in the kitchen cabinet industry. Their mission statement reads:
“We operate in a professional environment founded upon the highest ethical, moral, and Christian principles reflecting respect, support, and trust for our customers, our suppliers, our employees and their families.”
As practicing and believing Mennonite Christians, the Hahn family has sought to follow those Christian principles in everything they do. They believe all human life is sacred and have always excluded those drugs from their health coverage that they believe could end a life.
Because of their faith, the Hahns believe it is important to provide generous health care benefits for their employees, and with 950 full time employees, they could face as much as $34 million a year in ruinous fines unless they comply with President Obama’s conscience crushing mandate.